Tuesday, June 6, 2023
As part of the NHS weight loss service, if you're living with obesity, your GP can offer you for advice about improving your lifestyle and losing and managing your weight.
Their service provides you with resources and advice on how to lose weight safely. This could include how to eat a balanced diet or increasing your physical activity.
Although these options work for many people, some struggle to lose weight with healthy eating and exercise alone. This is why the NHS can prescribe NHS weight loss medicine.
Many different types of anti-obesity medications have been examined in clinical trials, but only orlistat and liraglutide have proven to be safe and effective for usage on the NHS.
Orlistat is a prescription-only medication intended to help obese and overweight people lose weight. In fact, until recently it was the only prescription medicine available in the UK for the treatment of weight-related issues. Many obese people may be medically eligible for treatment, but the majority are not given a prescription to purchase orlistat.
NICE prescribing rules only allow doctors to prescribe orlistat to obese patients, defined as those with a BMI of 30 or higher, therefore many individuals will find that their GP cannot prescribe unless they gain weight.
Before you speak to your doctor about getting orlistat, consider the following:
Are you eligible?
Patients must have a BMI of 30 or 28 and have weight-related health issues such as diabetes, high cholesterol, or hypertension.
You must also have demonstrated a dedication to reducing weight, so tell your doctor about any changes you've made to your diet or exercise routine and how they've helped you.
NHS guidelines your doctor must follow:
Like with any other NHS treatment, it could depend on where you live in the UK and whether your surgery offers this service, however, general principles for prescription orlistat NHS are:
The process doesn’t sound as simple as expected, does it? This could be another reason why your NHS practice do not offer this service, after taking into consideration the time and money that goes into this type of treatment. Especially when orlistat is readily available privately online or in lower strengths over the counter.
Orlistat can only be used if a doctor or pharmacist believes it is the best medicine for you. Orlistat is available from your doctor on prescription, or you can purchase it at a lower dose such as brands Alli and Orlos over the counter from your pharmacy.
Orlistat works by blocking approximately one-third of the fat in the food you eat from being absorbed. Undigested fat is not absorbed by your body and is excreted with your stools. This will keep you from gaining weight and may even help you lose weight.
Before starting orlistat, you should begin eating a balanced diet and exercising consistently, and you should continue to do so during treatment and after you stop taking orlistat. This medication doesn’t work without this.
Orlistat is normally only suggested if you've made a concerted effort to lose weight through diet, exercise, or lifestyle changes.
Even yet, orlistat is only prescribed if you have one of the following conditions:
Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid taking orlistat.
Before prescribing orlistat, your doctor will go over the benefits and drawbacks, as well as any potential adverse effects. You can also find these on the orlistat patient information leaflet.
Don’t be put off by having to get a doctor’s appointment to obtain orlistat, at Oxford Online Pharmacy you could get a private prescription online, from the comfort of your home.
Following a few simple steps, you could get started with orlistat with in as little as a day!
So firstly, head over to our weight loss category and select orlistat capsules.
Once you’re there you will be required to answer a short online questionnaire, this will cover important and necessary topics, such as, whether you are taking any other medicines, your weight and if you give us permission to inform your doctors surgery of your order (or not).
Why do we need these questions answered? Well, like your NHS doctor would assess your eligibility and safety before they prescribe a medicine, our GMC registered doctors are required to do the same. This is solely to align with best practice to ensure your safety. For more information, see our order process.
Once the questionnaire is completed and you have finished the final steps such as payment and choose your delivery options – our doctors will then assess your order and if they are happy with the information provided, your order will be posted to your nominated address. It’s really as simple as that.
Now you already know about the rules and regulation that must be followed by doctors when prescribing orlistat 120mg tablets, let's look at the other options available and how the differ.
At Oxford Online Pharmacy there are a variety of weight loss aids, they work in different ways, come in different strengths and have different prescribing rules.
Here is a comparison of some of the avaliable weight loss aids, Alli, Orlos, Saxenda and Xenical:
|Price starting from
* These prices are as of 05.06.23 and are subject to change.
You may be wondering, seeing as most of the products contain the active ingredient orlistat, why is there an obvious difference in price and whether a prescription is needed.
Well, orlistat is the generic version of the four orlistat-based products, this is why it is often sold at a cheaper price.
Xenical is a prescription only, branded version of orlistat and even though it contains the same active ingredient and works in a similar way, some people prefer this brand, although it’s often seen with a substantially higher price tag.
Alli and Orlos are both braded versions of orlistat and they both only contain 60mg of orlistat per capsule, that’s 60mg less than orlistat and Xenical. Because of this, these medicines have been approved for sale in pharmacies over the counter. Even though this seems like the easiest way to obtain orlistat, these tablets cost considerably more than the generic version of orlistat.
At Oxford Online Pharmacy all private prescriptions are free of charge – meaning that you only pay for the cost of the medicine, resulting in the prescription only orlistat 120mg capsules being a great option.
While orlistat works to bind 30% of the fat you consume aiding in weight loss, Saxenda functions differently.
Saxenda is a once-daily injection that you give yourself to help you lose weight.
It contains the active component Liraglutide, which is extremely similar to GLP-1, a natural hormone found in your body. Saxenda works by decreasing your appetite, causing you to feel less hungry, reducing the emptying of your stomach, and keeping you fuller for longer between meals.
Saxenda weight loss injections should be used in conjunction with a calorie-controlled diet and regular exercise, like orlistat.
Due to the cost of this medicine, it is unlikely you will be prescribed Saxenda as a first line treatment on the NHS, to find out more about Saxenda on the NHS read this article.
For a more Indepth comparison or orlistat vs Saxenda check out our blog post.
To learn more about our weight loss aids and how we can help you – get in touch with a member of our healthcare team here.